Super Rugby is junk status

David Lord Columnist

By David Lord, David Lord is a Roar Expert

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    South Africa has been financially rated ‘junk’ status by two of the leading world financial agencies, Standard and Poor’s and Fitch, with Moody’s likely to follow suit sooner rather than later.

    If the Big Three financial agencies were to rate Super Rugby, it would have been junk status from the moment SANZAAR admitted a sixth franchise in South Africa, plus the Sunwolves from Japan, and Argentina’s Jaguares.

    This week SANZAAR will remove two teams – the Cheetahs and Kings will cut South Africa’s involvement to four, and either the Force or Rebels to go, cutting Australia’s involvement to four, with New Zealand to remain on five.

    That will cut the Super Rugby tournament to 15 teams – from 18 – but leave the Sunwolves and Jaguares.

    Still junk status.

    Nobody will admit to suggesting that the Sunwolves and Jaguares be admitted, but it had to be South Africa.

    What’s even more disturbing is that either Australia or New Zealand went along with the stupid suggestion.

    The Sunwolves can’t beat an egg, and would have great difficulty beating Sydney Subbies teams like Drummoyne, Colleagues, and Mosman.

    Yet Roar Guru Fox Saker went to pains yesterday to support the Sunwolves claiming 25 million watched a World Cup game, obviously with Japan on duty.

    But the Fox was thinking like the ARU, putting cold hard cash ahead of standards.

    The moment Japan defeated the Springboks

    I don’t give a rats if 50 million, or 75 million, watch rugby on Japanese television, the Sunwolves simply can’t play,

    So far they’ve played 19 Super Rugby games for a win and a draw.

    Miracles can happen, even Don Bradman made a duck in his last Test innings when he needed just four runs to have a 100-run Test career average.

    Admittedly the Jaguares are better with eight wins from 21 games, but they shouldn’t be there.

    There are many ways of making Super Rugby better, and fairer.

    First cab off the rank must be a revamping of the law book that for decades has supported the defending side.

    Open up the field to give the attacking side more space and support, and rugby will come alive.

    But the format is still a major problem

    Retain the 15 teams of 2015, with five each from New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa.

    Anything is better than the current format, and certainly better than the proposed format for next season.

    Rugby, the fans, and the sponsors deserve better.

    David Lord
    David Lord

    David Lord was deeply involved in two of the biggest sporting stories - World Series Cricket in 1977 and professional rugby in 1983. After managing Jeff Thomson and Viv Richards during WSC, in 1983 David signed 208 of the best rugby players from Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and France to play an international pro circuit. The concept didn?t get off the ground, but it did force the IRB to get cracking and bring in the World Rugby Cup, now one of the world?s great sporting spectacles

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    The Crowd Says (320)

    • April 13th 2017 @ 6:46am
      JRVJ said | April 13th 2017 @ 6:46am | ! Report

      I was waiting for the inevitable anti-Jaguars article.

      Well, I found it, even though the Jags have a solid winning record in this their second season, and have a fairly solid shot of making the playoffs (in fact, the way the schedule looks for the Jags, there’s a very high likelihood that they WILL make the playoffs).

      Frankly, the Jags make more sense than 5 Australian teams or 6 Australian teams (IMHO, I would have culled TWO Aussie teams and one Saffa team, but any way you cut it, dice it or slice it, the Jags make more sense and add more to the competition than the alternatives).

      • April 13th 2017 @ 7:21am
        AndyS said | April 13th 2017 @ 7:21am | ! Report

        Let’s hope they can keep it up. Their start over the first 20 games isn’t much different from that of the Force…

        • Roar Guru

          April 13th 2017 @ 8:40am
          Nobrain said | April 13th 2017 @ 8:40am | ! Report

          Jags did not get to play any teams from AUS last year. I am sure they would have a better record if they had.

          • April 13th 2017 @ 3:50pm
            AndyS said | April 13th 2017 @ 3:50pm | ! Report

            That’s a good point, entirely possible. Then again they played the SA teams twice, which were teams the Force were beating in SA. They also didn’t get the Kings twice either.

        • Roar Guru

          April 13th 2017 @ 4:45pm
          Jokerman said | April 13th 2017 @ 4:45pm | ! Report

          Sensible words Lordy! But stay away from the human junk DNA! It was unreadable…but no longer, it’s not quite junk after all.

          Oh yes the super…they really did stuff it and they need to keep it simple.

          You want it to be like a prized win, if you can do it. They need to stop diluting the structure. It’s manafactured mayhem when it should be simple and just playing each other under a fair arrangement.

          • Roar Guru

            April 13th 2017 @ 5:48pm
            Jokerman said | April 13th 2017 @ 5:48pm | ! Report

            I just look forward to the black machine. That’s when the real season starts. And of course Cheika will be in the crazed maze that is the unfiltered mind; searching for survival.

      • April 13th 2017 @ 7:22am
        Rhys Bosley said | April 13th 2017 @ 7:22am | ! Report

        The Jaguares should do well, they are basically a Pumas side which in itself is another factor undermining the integrity of the tournament.

        • April 13th 2017 @ 7:27am
          AndyS said | April 13th 2017 @ 7:27am | ! Report

          Yeah, true, and they don’t need to rely on support from the ARU which is a huge bonus. Although funnily, they actually seem to have it.

        • April 13th 2017 @ 7:30am
          Fionn said | April 13th 2017 @ 7:30am | ! Report

          I just can’t fathom the logic of having the Pumas play in both Super Rugby and the Rugby Championship.

          I’m not saying there’s a better option, but you’re right, Rhys, it does undermine the integrity of SR.

        • April 13th 2017 @ 7:33am
          Jamie said | April 13th 2017 @ 7:33am | ! Report

          Exactly! They will not pick OS based players so the side is essentially the pumas. What’s the point of that?! I bet that they will be pushing for another team soon enough …and we will find ourselves in another super mess soon enough.

          • April 13th 2017 @ 7:49am
            Bakkies said | April 13th 2017 @ 7:49am | ! Report

            There was an original push for two Argentina to have two sides but they couldn’t afford that so they put their youth players in to the Pampas and their second XV in the American Five Nations.

            They also come out and said that the Jaguares are separate to the Pumas with a different coaching structures.

            • April 13th 2017 @ 7:54am
              Fionn said | April 13th 2017 @ 7:54am | ! Report

              There’s bound to be overlap, Bakkies – they’re the same players.

              That being said, the Pumas are much better than the Jaguares.

              • April 13th 2017 @ 8:36am
                Bakkies said | April 13th 2017 @ 8:36am | ! Report

                Not necessarily they went through a huge amount of players last year with a lot of players getting opportunities.

                They also had the issue of getting players back to Argentina for far less money so they had to provide an extra incentive. That may change once the Jaguares have sufficient depth to cope with senior players playing elsewhere or an additional side being added.

            • April 13th 2017 @ 12:02pm
              Jamie said | April 13th 2017 @ 12:02pm | ! Report

              Well they might be saying one that but let’s be honest it is the pumas. This is the main problem about this comp you are either a “pathway” for the national team OR you build a franchise with its own identity.

              The Melbourne rebels owner touched on this, he wants to build a successful team without Foreign player restrictions. My dad is argentinian and lived in South America for a number of years, I care little about the pumas and therefore little about the jaguares

              • Roar Guru

                April 13th 2017 @ 12:04pm
                Train Without A Station said | April 13th 2017 @ 12:04pm | ! Report

                Is it?

                Super Rugby started with National teams included.

          • Roar Guru

            April 13th 2017 @ 8:37am
            Nobrain said | April 13th 2017 @ 8:37am | ! Report

            So now that you can have more cup players to raise the level of the competition you do not want them because they might beat other teams. So the level of SR should average down so the teams from AUS can play having a chance to win? What a mediocre idea!!!
            You want to fix the AUS problem adjusting the outside, imo you should be looking inside for the low level of rugby your teams are riding the 2017 edition.

            • April 13th 2017 @ 9:17am
              Bakkies said | April 13th 2017 @ 9:17am | ! Report

              ‘You want to fix the AUS problem adjusting the outside, imo you should be looking inside for the low level of rugby your teams are riding the 2017 edition.’

              Exactly Nobrain, Alan Jones was right to be angry at Clyne in his interview being going on an angle about Japan and Argentina isn’t the right way to resolve Australian Rugby issues.

            • April 13th 2017 @ 9:53am
              Rhys Bosley said | April 13th 2017 @ 9:53am | ! Report

              A sub national competition should be sub national, otherwise the results are misrepresentative of the actual standard of rugby in the countries concerned. The current situation is basically like Australia putting the Brumbies into the ITM Cup, I don’t think the Kiwis would appreciate it and rightly so.

              • April 13th 2017 @ 10:47am
                Cal said | April 13th 2017 @ 10:47am | ! Report

                I reckon they would love the challenge and probably even get a few over them

              • April 13th 2017 @ 10:56am
                Fionn said | April 13th 2017 @ 10:56am | ! Report

                Kiwis cannot stand their rugby teams losing, especially to Australian teams. It’s a trait I respect in the teams as it means they always work to improve, but the fans would justifiably complain about a too-strong Aussie team wrecking the legitimacy of their competition.

              • April 13th 2017 @ 12:51pm
                Mason said | April 13th 2017 @ 12:51pm | ! Report

                Fionn you clearly have no real understanding of what the ITM cup is do you?
                If you did you would realise that it is actually a competition where our franchises disperse not actual “true” provinces.

                The Blues, Crusaders, Hurricanes, Highlanders and Chiefs DO NOT play in the ITM cup.
                Is it really that hard to understand?

                The Blues become 3 provinces, Chiefs 3 provinces, Hurricanes 3 provinces, Canterbury 2 provinces and the Highlanders 2 provinces.

                I have only included the Premiership and Championship provinces above, there are a lot more Heartland provinces as well.

                So no a Brumbies or a NSW team would not be accepted because it is a significantly stronger “STATE” based team it is not a province like Taranaki or Tasman.

              • Roar Guru

                April 13th 2017 @ 1:06pm
                Fionn said | April 13th 2017 @ 1:06pm | ! Report

                Mason, did you even bother reading what I wrote? That was exactly my point.

              • April 13th 2017 @ 4:30pm
                Ruka said | April 13th 2017 @ 4:30pm | ! Report

                If I may jump in here, I read what you wrote Fionn and it comes across as a little bit of a dig at the New Zealand competition. It implies that the Brumbies should be allowed to play in the Mitre 10 Cup and the only reason why they are not permitted to do so is because they will win.

                “Kiwis cannot stand their rugby teams losing, especially to Australian teams.”

                The point I would say many teams would like the chance to dispel of yours is

                “but the fans would justifiably complain about a too-strong Aussie team wrecking the legitimacy of their competition”

                I would say all the teams in the Premiership plus a few in the Championship would fancy themselves against all the Australian Super rugby franchises. Especially if they had access to their All Blacks and top tier Super rugby players. if it was like for like I think you will find the likes of Auckland, Tasman, Canterbury, Counties and Taranaki would take them all the way and I feel most would beat their Australian counterparts. Then you have Wellington and Otago down in the Championship who could also feild extremely strong teams.

              • April 13th 2017 @ 5:50pm
                Fionn said | April 13th 2017 @ 5:50pm | ! Report

                See, this is the attitude displayed by a minority of Kiwis that I can’t stand.

                Yes, part of the reason I think the Brumbies shouldn’t be in the ITM cup is because they are a super rugby team. Likewise I don’t want an international team playing in super rugby – you shouldn’t have teams playing in competitions they are a higher level than. Likewise, I don’t want the All Blacks in Super Rugby, it’s a ridiculous suggestion, just like having the Brumbies in the ITM Cup.

                How this is in the least controversial is just unfathamobke to me.

              • April 13th 2017 @ 6:15pm
                Ruka said | April 13th 2017 @ 6:15pm | ! Report

                I would personally argue Fionn that many of the New Zealand provincial sides would beat the Australian Super rugby teams. The Brumbies aren’t as strong as you may think they are.

              • April 13th 2017 @ 6:50pm
                Fionn said | April 13th 2017 @ 6:50pm | ! Report

                Lucky we can always count on you to inform us how brilliant all Kiwi teams are and how bad all Aussie teams. Thanks for your input, turbo, keep up your enlightening work.

              • April 13th 2017 @ 8:51pm
                Good Game said | April 13th 2017 @ 8:51pm | ! Report

                I would love to see the Brumbies in the ITM cup. They’d be more than a good chance of taking it out bit still – maybe two loses in the regular season…

              • April 13th 2017 @ 9:31pm
                ClarkeG said | April 13th 2017 @ 9:31pm | ! Report

                I would love to see North Otago in the NRC.

              • April 14th 2017 @ 1:44am
                Brendan said | April 14th 2017 @ 1:44am | ! Report

                Blimmin’ heck kiwi fellas (and yes I’m a kiwi too), you’re really missing Fionn’s point in your rush to brag about the kiwi teams. He’s just doing an apples to oranges comparison as an analogy, it’s not complex nor an invitation to brag.
                To your point Fionn, whilst I mostly agree, I do think it’s good for the game as a whole to support developing regions at as many levels as possible, not just the national level. Perhaps it’s not SR’s responsibility to grow the game in Argentina, but I think it’s great to add another team that is competitive at the highest levels.

              • April 14th 2017 @ 7:49am
                Ruka said | April 14th 2017 @ 7:49am | ! Report

                I rarely comment on these threads but do notice that you Fionn, get very sarcastic and defensive when people actually have an opinion that differs from yours. Grow up

              • April 14th 2017 @ 8:01am
                Ryan said | April 14th 2017 @ 8:01am | ! Report

                Trust me Ruka it’s always the same from him when he doesn’t get his own way.
                It’s his opinion or nothing.

                In regards to this “bragging” that you speak of Brendan. Please show me how “enlightening” others on the make up of the provinces is bragging?
                It’s hardly a secret that NZ is a rugby nursery now is it?
                Therefore one can expect their provincial teams to be on par if not stronger than the Australian “State” teams.
                If anything I would say Fionn initiated the appendage swinging with his not so subtle dig about Kiwis not liking losing to Aussies when the exact same could be said in reverse.
                As for the Apples and Oranges comparison why even bother when they aren’t the same?
                There just isn’t any point comparing the two. The closest thing Australia has to the NPC is the NRC now that could be interesting if there was some sort of playoffs between the top two teams from each competition. It might be something the two unions could look at and who knows it may even help promote the flailing game in Australia.

                So in conclusion what is here is hardly bragging it’s people offering their views on others opinions. Afterall that’s what this site is about isn’t it?

                Cut the schoolyard name calling and sarcasm or refrain from commenting altogether.

              • April 14th 2017 @ 8:18am
                taylorman said | April 14th 2017 @ 8:18am | ! Report

                Geez…what just happened here…?

              • April 14th 2017 @ 10:14am
                Whakaata said | April 14th 2017 @ 10:14am | ! Report

                Pretty easy to see what has happened here fella, one poster seems to think they are above everyone else and hasn’t appreciated been called out.

              • April 14th 2017 @ 10:52am
                taylorman said | April 14th 2017 @ 10:52am | ! Report

                Well I didn’t see it that way. I thought Fionn point was valid. And using the words with respect and understably for me provided balance in the comment.

              • Roar Guru

                April 14th 2017 @ 3:48pm
                Fionn said | April 14th 2017 @ 3:48pm | ! Report

                Brendan, I absolutely agree re. Argentina! The Jaguares are the best option in the short and mid-terms as Argentina apparently can’t afford 2 teams. Longterm I would prefer Argentina to have 2 teams in the competition and a 16 team RR with a top 8 and no conferences (although that might be dark days for Aussie teams :P).

                Taylorman, cheers, mate.

                Ruka, I’m actually more pro-Kiwi than most Aussies on here. I don’t get at all parochial about Aussies losing to Kiwis, and enjoy watching all of your Super Rugby teams play, as well as the All Blacks. That being said, it sometimes feels like a minority of Kiwis feel like it’s their duty to “put Australian’s in our place,” and by that I mean denigrating every Australian team as much as possible and talking up every New Zealand team as much as possible.

                Take yourself, for example. The ITM Cup is the rough equivalent of the NRC. I have no problem with Aussies and Kiwis playing each other in SR, and I would have no problem with the ITM Cup teams playing in the NRC, even though the New Zealand teams will mostly wipe the floor with us. That said, I would hate for for the Hurricanes to play in the NRC as it would be a demolition. Despite what you think I’d say the Brumbies would definitely win the ITM Cup, but even if I’m wrong is it really so important to put the Aussie in their place and inform him that ‘of course the much lower level ITM Cup teams would beat the Aussie SR teams? Call me out on my sarcasm, but I think your parochialism in this instance is worse, so I guess we will agree to disagree.

              • Roar Guru

                April 14th 2017 @ 4:12pm
                Fionn said | April 14th 2017 @ 4:12pm | ! Report

                Heck, I even support the Kiwi SR teams against all but the Brumbies (although I have a soft spot for the Force), and likewise these days support the All Blacks against everyone else bar sometimes South Africa except for when they play the Wallabies. I even support them against Ireland these days!

                And it wasn’t a dig at Kiwi fans. You don’t like losing, no one does (tell me, do you hate losing to Australian teams?). But the difference is you guys rarely lose, especially to us. And it would be fair enough for ITM Cup fans to complain if Aus dropped a SR team into your lower level ITM Cup as the SR team would likely win it. That was my point, and I fail to see how that is the least bit anti-Kiwi or controversial.

            • April 13th 2017 @ 6:33pm
              woodart said | April 13th 2017 @ 6:33pm | ! Report

              + 100 no brain

          • April 13th 2017 @ 3:58pm
            AndyS said | April 13th 2017 @ 3:58pm | ! Report

            I had this exact discussion with Nick Bishop. His point was that, just like NZ at the moment, if you become dominant it is everyone else’s problem to find a way to compete. If it turns out that the Jaguares start to dominate, then perhaps all three countries might all have to start looking at cutting further teams. Who knows, might work well for introducing further new areas without adding team numbers.

        • April 13th 2017 @ 7:43am
          Zero Gain said | April 13th 2017 @ 7:43am | ! Report

          Exactly right. A huge boost for Puma rugby with the core of their national team playing together for much of the year. But patently stupid for the game of rugby to convolute a provincial competition with what is basically a national team.

          • April 13th 2017 @ 8:50am
            Bakkies said | April 13th 2017 @ 8:50am | ! Report

            ZG Aus Rugby already has a core of the Wallabies playing together (and poorly) in one team they’re called the Waratahs.

          • Roar Guru

            April 13th 2017 @ 8:52am
            Nobrain said | April 13th 2017 @ 8:52am | ! Report

            Nobody complained last year when they went 4-12. Well, they played all NZ and SA teams last year. That had to be the main reason.

            • April 13th 2017 @ 8:56am
              Fionn said | April 13th 2017 @ 8:56am | ! Report

              Nobrain, people did complain last year. Also, let’s be honest, it seems that the travel schedule is what resulted in them really struggling.

              It still remains to be seen whether they’ll end up as a really good team this year. They’re a force in Argentina but that’s not the same as being able to win away from home consistently, which only the Kiwi teams currently manage.

              • April 13th 2017 @ 9:25am
                Bakkies said | April 13th 2017 @ 9:25am | ! Report

                More was made out of the travel than should have been. The rotating, back end fitness, discipline and tactics ultimately cost them games last year. They lost to the Kings last year after losing three players to the bin and there may have been a red card too.

                They have been stronger already on the road this season I know you brought up the Sharks match but they only lost that by a few points they aren’t the only team from abroad that has struggled with their handling in the humidity in Durban and gave the Stormers a tough game at Newlands. Their road performances will turn to wins as they aren’t rotating as much this year. Fitness will also improve.

              • April 13th 2017 @ 9:30am
                Fionn said | April 13th 2017 @ 9:30am | ! Report

                You may well be right, Bakkies, I’m not saying they aren’t already a very strong team. I’m just saying I’m going to wait for them to demonstrate it before I jump to conclusions.

      • April 13th 2017 @ 10:04am
        mania said | April 13th 2017 @ 10:04am | ! Report

        JRVJ – why are you even bringing this up?
        jaguares are doing better than all the aus sides combined at the moment. they sit on 19 points. brumbie the best performing aus side is on 16.
        jaguares aren’t under threat of being cut. everyone who is saying why the jaguares are involved are just wasting their breath. jaguares are here to stay, end of story, not up for discussion.

        ps – sunwolves are doing better than the rebels

        JRVJ – I fully agree with your last paragraph. I would’ve cut 2 aus teams

      • April 13th 2017 @ 10:52am
        Cam said | April 13th 2017 @ 10:52am | ! Report

        Hmmm, 8 wins from 21 matches, my Reds would love to boast that sort of record. Currently we are 8 wins from 38 matches…
        From a spectators point of view, I’d suggest culling 5 Aussie teams, 6 SA teams, the Jaguares and Sunwolves and then add 5 new Kiwi teams. I’d watch that.

      • April 13th 2017 @ 3:31pm
        world in union said | April 13th 2017 @ 3:31pm | ! Report

        Really ? Travelling all the way to Argentina to play a Super Rugby match which has hardly any viewership seems fairly silly to me … yes I agree that one team should be cut from Australia – The Rebels IMO – but I also agree with that Sunwolves and Jags should be cut

        • April 13th 2017 @ 4:54pm
          Bakkies said | April 13th 2017 @ 4:54pm | ! Report

          How do you know that the Jaguares has hardly any viewership? Their matches are on FTA over there and are broadcast in other South American countries.

          Do make those changes you need a 100% agreement. Neither the UAR and SARU would vote to kick them out so give it a rest

        • Roar Guru

          April 14th 2017 @ 6:00am
          Nobrain said | April 14th 2017 @ 6:00am | ! Report

          If you guys do not watch your rugby at home it is time to look for another markets.

    • Roar Guru

      April 13th 2017 @ 7:02am
      Nobrain said | April 13th 2017 @ 7:02am | ! Report

      Sure my Lord!!!! Whatever you say!!!!

    • April 13th 2017 @ 7:04am
      MH01 said | April 13th 2017 @ 7:04am | ! Report

      Rugby fans and sponsors deserve better….. I’m so glad you don’t give a ******* how many Japanese fans watch the game….but let me put some perspective

      Jaguares = 19 points

      Top of Oz conference = 16 points

      Sunwolves = 5 points , reds 6 points , tahs 8 points, force 9 points , rebels 1 point.

      Yeah the fans deserve so much better !!! Super rugby is delivering junk by OZ teams!! Before writing the next article , look at the bottom of the combined table , OZ teams are delivering JUNK!

      Rebels in 1 point…..

      If you want a story , write about why the oz players from our biggest rugby states are turning up just for just pay , And if we should only pay them if they bother to perform cough izzy cough….that is the real crime in SR at the moment. I actually enjoy watching the jags or sunwolves play, same cannot be said for most of the oz teams

      • April 13th 2017 @ 9:52am
        Kiwi in Europe said | April 13th 2017 @ 9:52am | ! Report

        I agree, if any criticism needs to be aimed it should be aimed directly at the ARU. If they are saying they have no $$ to support Super Rugby and the Grassroots. Then how do the justify keeping Israel Folau on $1.5m a year, who has never really inspired or justified his salary. And also David Pocock earning $750k to rest for a season is beyond me.
        Lets also not forget that they also tried to offer Jarrod Hayne a contract but needed a super rugby team to support it and the Kiwis now running the Tah’s wouldn’t have a bar of it.
        Heads should roll for sure and the aussie journo’s should be focusing on that.

        • Roar Guru

          April 13th 2017 @ 10:03am
          Train Without A Station said | April 13th 2017 @ 10:03am | ! Report

          Because the Wallabies is the part of the ARU that makes a lot of money.

          Cutting those would probably result in lower Wallaby income and even less money.

          And I’m sick of people going on this David Pocock issue. If you have half a brain it’s not a complex concept. He is worth well over $1M a year on the open market. The ARU are essentially paying him $2.1M a year for 2 seasons. They are just paying him out over 3. So year 1 he is on unders on $750k. Year 2 as he doesn’t play he’s on overs. Year 3 it’s unders again.

          But ultimately, unless $2.1M over 2 years is completely unreasonable, then it’s a nothing discussion for small minds.

          • April 13th 2017 @ 10:25am
            Harry said | April 13th 2017 @ 10:25am | ! Report

            It would be a sound policy if he was any good anymore, but his best years are behind him. If the ARU’s idea of building for the future is to pay an over the hill player $750k not to play, while the grass roots whither and die, then so be it. Never mind, I’m sure he’ll appreciate the nice ARU pension plan.

            • April 13th 2017 @ 10:35am
              Fionn said | April 13th 2017 @ 10:35am | ! Report

              What a load of nonsense. He was Australia’s best forward last year despite being played out of position and being injured a lot of the time (Hooper got more votes as he played more minutes). The only forward who is perhaps as good as him is Coleman.

              Pocock will likely still be by far our best 7 in 2019.

              • April 13th 2017 @ 10:58am
                Jacko said | April 13th 2017 @ 10:58am | ! Report

                Fionn, I dont care how good anyone is…It is a massive mistake to pay them not to play. And I dont care if they gave him 2 mil a season when he plays…Just NEVER pay someone not to play….That is a massive joke and makes the ARU look like a pushover for anyone in Aus rugby with any bit of talent.

              • Roar Guru

                April 13th 2017 @ 11:01am
                Train Without A Station said | April 13th 2017 @ 11:01am | ! Report

                They aren’t paying him not to play.

                They are spreading his contract across the year he is now playing.

                How would it change it they paid him $1.05M last year and $1.05M next year and still $2.1M in total?

                Tell me what the difference would be?

              • April 13th 2017 @ 11:08am
                Fionn said | April 13th 2017 @ 11:08am | ! Report

                Someone explained it to me that for accounting reasons it’s easier to pay three instalments over 3 seasons of $700,000 rather than two installments over 2 seasons of $1,050,000.

                So the issue is, is he worth $1,050,000 a season?

                Regardless of what you think, Harry claiming he is a has-been in nonsense.

              • April 13th 2017 @ 11:11am
                Old Bugger said | April 13th 2017 @ 11:11am | ! Report

                Fionn

                I don’t know what’s in Pocock’s contract but, as a layman, could the ARU have simply said to Poey to take your sabbatical and we will hold your contact until you return.

                At that time, the terms etc will restart as written.

                Why it was necessary to continue his payments is the unknown for everyone but, the contract duration could quite easily have been set aside, until Poey returned. That could be an incentivised carrot to ensure that he does, return and the ARU gets 2 years of playing duration rather than, the foreseeable 1 year duration that will remain, when he returns.

                All I can say is “hats off” to his Manager. As for the ARU, well less said seems to be the appropriate approach, these days…..

              • Roar Guru

                April 13th 2017 @ 11:14am
                Train Without A Station said | April 13th 2017 @ 11:14am | ! Report

                Exactly Fionn.

                From Pocock’s point of view he’d push for it.

                On $1.05M per year he would pay $445,732 per year in tax for $891,464 in total for the life of the deal.

                Spread across 3 seasons he would pay $288,232 per year for $864,696 in total.

                So in addition to the minor tax saving there’s the fact that I assume he has a mortgage and other bills that continue while he’s not playing.

                Pretty handy to have income coming through across that time not peaks and troughs.

              • Roar Guru

                April 13th 2017 @ 11:16am
                Train Without A Station said | April 13th 2017 @ 11:16am | ! Report

                How have the ARU done anything poorly in this deal Old Bugger?

                Providing they are not overpaying, what does it matter?

                If the contract is in place he is obligated to return.

                If it’s not you know what he can do though? Sign elsewhere.

                You do what you have to in order to lock in your best players. Providing they have not overpaid him, they haven’t done anything wrong in the deal.

              • April 13th 2017 @ 11:28am
                Paul said | April 13th 2017 @ 11:28am | ! Report

                I buggers the ARU about to pay him nothing one year then extras the 2 other years. Both from a management and accounting perspective. You either have to carry over monies to other tax years with all the profit loss implications and budget management, or you have extra money in a year for player salaries and less in later years.

                What would the ARU do with extra money for just 1 year? You can’t sign a new player, or boost other players packets only to have to knowingly drop it the very next year when Pococks back.

                Amortising over the whole period is the best long term strategy for all parties concerned.

              • April 13th 2017 @ 11:55am
                Old Bugger said | April 13th 2017 @ 11:55am | ! Report

                Twas

                Firstly, my viewpoint is its not the value thats being questioned, it is the fact that payment, has happened, in the first instance.

                If as you assume, Poey’s contract has an obligation that he returns, then that position in itself, defeats the arguments of most when they assume the payment, was to ensure, he did return rather than, go elsewhere.

                If however, the contract excludes that return obligation, then why didn’t the ARU threaten legal action against Poey for breach of his contract, when he sought leave, to go overseas rather than fulfil, his contract terms??

                My query is – why didn’t the ARU just set aside the remaining duration without payment, until Poey returned and then resume the terms of contract with full entitlements, at that time?? Don’t you think that by setting aside the contract, without payment, that this could act as incentive for Poey, to return??

                I’m not suggesting anything untoward has occurred by either party. It just seems hard to comprehend that had the contract been set aside, in the first instance, instead of the payment, then this action may have achieved a similar outcome with an incentive, for Poey to return, fulfil his commitment and collect his due entitlement, at that time.

              • Roar Guru

                April 13th 2017 @ 11:58am
                Train Without A Station said | April 13th 2017 @ 11:58am | ! Report

                And what if he decided that he didn’t want to come back because they were unwilling to structure the contract in a way to suit him?

                Doesn’t that seem ludicrous to agree on a contract sum, and not be able to get the deal over the line?

                Pocock is contracted to play the 2018 and 2019 seasons. He is not obligated to play 2017. I don’t see how hard it is to understand.

                Likely he took less than the open market for those 2 seasons as the terms (spread over 3 years) were what he wanted with having a year off rugby.

                If they stuck firm on what you wanted, he may have decided to look elsewhere.

                I don’t understand how it is at all unreasonable to expect an employer to structure what they are willing to offer in a way which assists their employee, providing it’s not at a cost to them.

              • April 13th 2017 @ 12:31pm
                Paul said | April 13th 2017 @ 12:31pm | ! Report

                OB, why does it matter to you (or anyone for that matter) whether the ARU pay Pocock the value of his contract over 3 years as opposed to the 2 years he’s playing?

                Lets say they hold onto the $750k for him for 12 months. That’s not money that can use to give a new contract to someone else, or put into grassroots. Unless they want to then take it back off them in 2018.

                In the meantime UK clubs were throwing around numbers like $2.4M / season for his services. It’s a prudent decision to accommodate him the way they did which was mutually beneficial to the ARU and Pocock. You should be praising the ARU for finding an effective way of retaining the services one of the best players in the world for 2 seasons, including the next RWC, at what is by all accounts well below market rate!

              • April 13th 2017 @ 12:31pm
                Old Bugger said | April 13th 2017 @ 12:31pm | ! Report

                Paul

                Amortise or do whatever but commercial history has shown, that in the business world most, if not all businesses, would rather retain salaries instead of paying out, if the terms and conditions, permit.

                The principle being that payment will happen when, the contract has been fulfilled. In its simplest form of contract offer and consideration, the contract obligates one party to play rugby and thus receive payment, for that obligation. In reverse, it obligates one party to pay another party, to play rugby.

                It seems however, that I’ve missed something because, and I stand to be corrected, one party is paying but, the other party is not playing.

                So, thanks for extrapolating another commercial avenue, to justify the ARU’s actions, in this instance but, I’m well aware of what may or may not be good, sound commercial business practice.

              • April 13th 2017 @ 12:49pm
                Paul said | April 13th 2017 @ 12:49pm | ! Report

                Really OB? So in a business situation you wouldn’t take an opportunity to acquire a resource for $2.1M that others were prepared to pay double that for, with the only condition you had to put down a 30% deposit 12 months in advance?

                The ARU operates under a unique arrangement with the workers union (RUPA) that a percentage of revenue is allocated to player salaries. So your business may just put it back into consolidated revenue, the ARU cant. So again, the $750k would be paid to who, then taken off who next season?

              • April 13th 2017 @ 5:02pm
                Old Bugger said | April 13th 2017 @ 5:02pm | ! Report

                Paul

                Who says the money has to be paid to anyone – oh, you do.

                It could be invested and $750k is a lot of investment for 12mths.

                Heck, it could return $20-35k over that period and just maybe, the ARU goes and spends it all on Gilbert rugby balls and donate those rugby balls, to the clubs nationwide, where Junior rugby is played. I mean it cost them nothing but effort to invest but gees, just imagine the PR, that it may generate.

                And when Poey returns, the ARU will still have the principal amount, to pay as his salary.

              • Roar Guru

                April 13th 2017 @ 5:16pm
                John R said | April 13th 2017 @ 5:16pm | ! Report

                Pretty sure the RUPA CBA says that money has to be paid to someone. Specifically a player. Not necessarily Pocock, but 27% of gross income has to be paid to players.

                So they can’t just pocket that $750k and spend it wherever they like, it would have to go to another player(s)

              • April 13th 2017 @ 5:39pm
                AndyS said | April 13th 2017 @ 5:39pm | ! Report

                I thought it was about 29% now.

                Regardless, that is a minimum guarantee not a fixed budget. If you call the gross revenues $120M, they’ve got ~$35M to spend on players. I don’t know what if anything the Sevens and women might get, but they used to be excluded. But with five SR teams each getting $4M odd and an $18M line item for player payments/RUPA, they are likely well over the minimum. If that is the case, then any saving would be real.

              • April 13th 2017 @ 5:49pm
                Paul said | April 13th 2017 @ 5:49pm | ! Report

                Saying they are paying over the minimum is speculative. Given the financial situation I doubt they paying much in overs. Which is also speculative granted.

                Bottom line, it’s stupid to get yourself in a knot over Pocock getting some of his 3 year contract paid now, when it’s money he’s owed in the short term anyway. Especially when it’s prevented him taking far more lucrative contracts that would see him lost to Australian Rugby. Honestly, some people seem to just be itching for an excuse to be outraged!

              • April 13th 2017 @ 7:11pm
                AndyS said | April 13th 2017 @ 7:11pm | ! Report

                Bet you’d hear some noise if they were paying unders!!

          • April 16th 2017 @ 12:46am
            double agent said | April 16th 2017 @ 12:46am | ! Report

            You’ve explained it well TWAS. Case closed.

        • April 13th 2017 @ 10:05am
          stainlesssteve said | April 13th 2017 @ 10:05am | ! Report

          quite right, KiE
          i would gladly rest for a year for $500,000
          Why didn’t the ARU ask me?

          • Roar Guru

            April 13th 2017 @ 10:15am
            Train Without A Station said | April 13th 2017 @ 10:15am | ! Report

            Are you worth more than $1M a year for the years which you do play?

            • April 13th 2017 @ 11:02am
              Jacko said | April 13th 2017 @ 11:02am | ! Report

              TWAS as I said above. It is nothing but a joke to pay a bloke not to play….I donk care what they pay him when he does play and I dont care if it all works out to suit your maths but from a fans perspective it is rediculas to pay anyone NOT to play. What if he comes back fat and unenthused for rugby…Just wants to hug some trees somewhere….more bad management and more wasted resourses

              • Roar Guru

                April 13th 2017 @ 11:04am
                Train Without A Station said | April 13th 2017 @ 11:04am | ! Report

                Only if the concept of spreading the contract sum out is too complex for you.

                What if they paid him nothing now and he was contract for next year and came back like that?

                The whole concept is “oh you’re paying him not to play that money could be better used elsewhere”.

                No it couldn’t if you are merely spreading his 2 year value over 3 years.

              • Roar Guru

                April 13th 2017 @ 11:05am
                Train Without A Station said | April 13th 2017 @ 11:05am | ! Report

                Is he being overpaid for the period he is contracted to play.

                That’s the only question.

              • April 13th 2017 @ 1:53pm
                Jacko said | April 13th 2017 @ 1:53pm | ! Report

                Twas it opens up too many questions. Is he doing this to rip off the tax man? Is Aus rugby doing it to somehow cheat a expenses cap? Would your boss allow you to spread 2 years wages over a 3 year period ? I just dont get why he cant be paid the 1 million a season for the seasons he plays and get zero for the season he does not play. What if players decide they want to retire in 2 years but sign 3 year contracts spreading the payments? Surely its better to have people being paid for when they work than some backhanded deal which rips off and deceives? Your concept is not complex…its easy to see why it was done…and I think it should be illegal to do it as it falsifys his tax bill and is basically dishonest and a dodgy practice

              • April 13th 2017 @ 2:17pm
                Paul said | April 13th 2017 @ 2:17pm | ! Report

                Jacko,

                Every business out there carries over profits/losses across tax years to balance tax paid. And every full time employee gets paid to not be at work about 2 months out of every year (leave and PH’s). He’s still an employee of the ARU, whether he plays or not. It’s up to the ARU to decide the terms of his employment and what his duties are from year to year.

                It’s like you are just searching for a reason to be outraged. Complaining about Pocock getting money this year, that the ARU could not realistically use for any other reason and eventually have to give him over the course of the next 2 years anyway.

                There may be many legitimate reasons to be miffed at the ARU. But coming up with a manner in which they secure the services of one of the worlds best players for 2 seasons (that include a RWC) at about half the cost other people were willing to pay is not one of them.

            • April 13th 2017 @ 12:44pm
              stainlesssteve said | April 13th 2017 @ 12:44pm | ! Report

              once was, TWaS, once was, when i played for Jerk’s Dropouts, aged 15

              your point below :

              Is he being overpaid for the period he is contracted to play.

              That’s the only question.

              is exactly what i’m saying, and my answer is that the wages are obscene

              • Roar Guru

                April 13th 2017 @ 4:49pm
                John R said | April 13th 2017 @ 4:49pm | ! Report

                So you don’t think that an English or French club wouldn’t pay Pocock $1m per season?

              • April 13th 2017 @ 5:54pm
                Paul said | April 13th 2017 @ 5:54pm | ! Report

                He was reportedly offered more than double that.

              • April 13th 2017 @ 7:37pm
                Bakkies said | April 13th 2017 @ 7:37pm | ! Report

                He is doing two stints in Japan which is a part of the deal. One has already been completed.

              • Roar Guru

                April 13th 2017 @ 7:37pm
                Fionn said | April 13th 2017 @ 7:37pm | ! Report

                I guess the bigger issue is whether he is worth $1 million a season to the ARU?

                French and English clubs can more easily afford to pay him that than the ARU can given its financial situation. I would argue that Pocock is the best player in Australia so perhaps he is worth that much to the ARU, but I don’t know the salaries of other players so can’t compare.

                I would rather them spend $1 million per year on Pocock than on Folau.

              • April 14th 2017 @ 5:53pm
                Jacko said | April 14th 2017 @ 5:53pm | ! Report

                Again. From my perspective it seems wrong to pay him not to be involved in Aus rugby. As someone said above, why not just continue his negotiatedcontract when he returns? If 2 mil is what he got then give him a mil a season. Why split that into 3 years? What is the reason for that? It just asks some questions it doesnt answer and it sets a president, which others can demand.

              • Roar Guru

                April 14th 2017 @ 6:00pm
                Fionn said | April 14th 2017 @ 6:00pm | ! Report

                I honestly don’t know, Jacko. Someone told me it was just easier due to cashflow/accounting reasons? I really have no clue though, mate.

              • Roar Guru

                April 19th 2017 @ 9:35am
                John R said | April 19th 2017 @ 9:35am | ! Report

                Think the reason they’re doing it over 3 is to lower his income tax. Plus, it locks him in.

    • April 13th 2017 @ 7:06am
      Exile in Oz said | April 13th 2017 @ 7:06am | ! Report

      Disagree with the need to adjust the laws in favour of the attacking team. If that were to happen the scores would become a lot higher than they already are (NSW might be happy about that as the record 96 points would be passed!). At present there are regularly scores of 30+ posted and it is a rare game when both teams are below 15 points each. Much more change and it would be rugby 20/20. “rugby will come alive” Did you not watch the Stormers game over the weekend. It was a cracker. Even the Force/Kings game was entertaining and the emotion on display in Japan was great.
      A bit silly to totally disregard the viewing numbers. After all that is how the wages get payed and games get staged. Would it not be better to find a way to lift the performance of the new clubs rather than revert to the old 5×3 comp. There are current teams that have very poor winning records that extend over a number of years so your justification for cutting the Dogs is a little weak.
      Your article seems a lot like throwing stones and has very little in the way of constructive commentary. “Anything is better than the current format, and certainly better than the proposed format for next season”. I think that is not entirely true. Next year will be more merit based with the finals berths (not as good as a straight table ranking though) and if the reduction in teams is due to finance then it is better to cut them than have the whole comp end due ‘living beyond means’. A review of the ARU cost structure should take place to bring the admin cost in line with the industry standard. If that had occured a couple of years ago then the need to cut a team (for cost) might have been mitigated.

    • Roar Guru

      April 13th 2017 @ 7:11am
      Nobrain said | April 13th 2017 @ 7:11am | ! Report

      Junk Bond? Pls, tell me , is there any AAA, or AA, A, B, C. in other parts of the world?
      Premier League or European Champions will have what rating Mr .Lord?

      • April 13th 2017 @ 7:51am
        Bakkies said | April 13th 2017 @ 7:51am | ! Report

        Premier League would be drunk with the amount of club debt in that league that will never be paid off. Most of the big clubs would get a financial relegation in the French and German Leagues.

        • April 13th 2017 @ 3:00pm
          cuw said | April 13th 2017 @ 3:00pm | ! Report

          r u sure ?/

          from what i saw the EPL in 2016 had 2.2 Bn pounds net debt (20 teams)

          of which 1.1 Bn was at Chelsea !!!! actually around 5 clubs have zero debt 🙂

          • April 13th 2017 @ 5:00pm
            Bakkies said | April 13th 2017 @ 5:00pm | ! Report

            5 clubs out of 20 FMD wow.

            Man City have had several financial fair play warnings from UEFA.

            • April 13th 2017 @ 7:00pm
              cuw said | April 13th 2017 @ 7:00pm | ! Report

              debt in itself is not bad or an issue – the thing to note is debt: equity ratio, which normaly indicates if someone is on thin ground or not.

              that is why Chelsea is not in any trouble becoz almost the entire debt of GBP 1 Bn is the investment made by Roman Abramovich.

              chk this out plz

              http://www.totalsportek.com/football/clubs-with-the-most-debt/

              • April 14th 2017 @ 10:53am
                Bakkies said | April 14th 2017 @ 10:53am | ! Report

                Chelsea have debt owed to Abramohivch.

                UEFA have brought in Financial Fair Play laws where they are trying to address the levels of debt in the game in Europe and don’t wan’t clubs dependent on massive benefactors given the money they generate. That’s why they have tried to crack down on the likes of PSG and Man City.

    • Roar Guru

      April 13th 2017 @ 7:12am
      Harry Jones said | April 13th 2017 @ 7:12am | ! Report

      Jaguares’ 22-capped test players belong in this competition.

      In a Division A.

      The Sunwolves belong in a B division of Super Rugby, with Rebels, Kings, Cheetahs, Force…

      • April 13th 2017 @ 7:24am
        Rhys Bosley said | April 13th 2017 @ 7:24am | ! Report

        The Jaguares belong in the Rugby Championship, where they already are …

        • Roar Guru

          April 13th 2017 @ 8:12am
          Harry Jones said | April 13th 2017 @ 8:12am | ! Report

          They bring such a good hard nosed style to the comp

          They’ll improve too

          • April 13th 2017 @ 8:57am
            Bakkies said | April 13th 2017 @ 8:57am | ! Report

            and are good for teams that struggle with defence against players that offload and look for continuity after the tackle. That’s one of the main reasons why the Boks and Wallabies struggle against the All Blacks.

          • April 13th 2017 @ 7:09pm
            davSA said | April 13th 2017 @ 7:09pm | ! Report

            Should they beat the Bulls with a bonus point and do the same to the Sharks In BA they stand a real chance in this competition Harry. I can say for sure that no team , not the Canes , Chiefs , Stormers , Crusaders , Lions , Brumbies , Sharks and however else may be there in the playoffs want to play them at home.

            • April 14th 2017 @ 10:54am
              Bakkies said | April 14th 2017 @ 10:54am | ! Report

              Dav they played the Sharks last weekend.

      • April 13th 2017 @ 7:31am
        Fionn said | April 13th 2017 @ 7:31am | ! Report

        So what you’re saying, Harry, is that S12 was the best form of the competition ??

        • April 13th 2017 @ 7:55am
          Bakkies said | April 13th 2017 @ 7:55am | ! Report

          S12 had B division level teams too.

      • April 13th 2017 @ 11:04am
        Jacko said | April 13th 2017 @ 11:04am | ! Report

        How many capped Wallabies in each Aus squad? Tahs must have at least 15

      • Roar Rookie

        April 13th 2017 @ 6:39pm
        piru said | April 13th 2017 @ 6:39pm | ! Report

        Reds, Waratahs

        • Roar Guru

          April 13th 2017 @ 7:00pm
          Fionn said | April 13th 2017 @ 7:00pm | ! Report

          How many of those Wallabies are complete duds though? Skelton, Mumm, Phipps, Frisby…

          • April 14th 2017 @ 5:59pm
            Jacko said | April 14th 2017 @ 5:59pm | ! Report

            Agree Fion, but the same could be said for some of the Jaguaries test players to I spose. It always amuses me when a team is described as having an all ABs pack, or an all Wallabies pack, as most of the time only 2 or 3 are actually in the current Abs or Wallabies.

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